A recent report from RAND Corporation, released on Thursday, highlights that prescription drug prices in the United States are significantly higher compared to 33 other nations analyzed. On average, U.S. drug prices are 2.78 times higher than those in other countries.
The study emphasizes that for brand-name drugs, this difference is even more pronounced, with U.S. prices being 4.22 times higher than the prices observed in other nations.
In particular, the report sheds light on the substantial variation in insulin prices, revealing that U.S. prices range from 457% higher than those in Mexico to a staggering 3,799% higher than prices in Turkey.
Andrew Mulcahy, the lead author of the report, noted, “These findings provide further evidence that manufacturers’ gross prices for prescription drugs are higher in the U.S. than in comparison countries. We find that the gap is widening for name-brand drugs, while U.S. prices for generic drugs are now proportionally lower than our earlier analysis found.”
Coinciding with the report’s release, Medicare initiated the process of sending initial price negotiating offers on 10 drugs for seniors. The White House attributed the pharmaceutical industry’s opposition to these efforts, citing nine lawsuits against the Medicare Drug Price Negotiation outlined in the Biden Administration’s Inflation Reduction Act.
According to the RAND report, U.S. prescription drug prices are 1.72 times higher than in Mexico and a substantial 10.28 times more expensive than prescription drugs in Turkey. Despite accounting for 62% of total drug spending among the nations studied, the U.S. represents only 24% of the drug volume sold.
Sponsored by the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the study focused on pricing in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development countries.
The report also highlights that prescription drug spending in the United States constitutes over 10% of total healthcare spending. Additionally, retail prices for prescription drugs in the U.S. surged by 91% between 2000 and 2020, and an annual increase of 5% is anticipated through 2030. The full RAND report, titled “International Prescription Drug Price Comparisons Estimates: Using 2022 Data,” can be accessed on www.rand.org.